Older JBLs played loud and had a peaky response, sometimes with undue emphasis on midbass and the "presence" band, upper midrange through lower treble. There is a good chance you will lose considerable detail, although this may not be so important with rock material. The L200s were big, floor standing 2-way speakers with louvers on the treble driver, sold during the mid to late 1960s. I had a friend who bought a pair and stuffed them into his small bedroom, facing each other about three feet apart. He would sit between them and jack up the volume with rock material. He had a great time.
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MY SYSTEM CONSISTS OF A PIONEER SX-1980 RECEIVER, JBL CENTURY 100 SPEAKERS (ON SOUND ANCHOR STANDS), MARANTZ SA14 SACD PLAYER, TECHNICS A10 DVD-A PLAYER, HORIZON SE/RB250/CLEARAUDIO AURUM BETA S M/M CARTRIDGE, AU24 IC, MOGAMI SPEAKER CABLE. WALLS AND CEILING OF 12 X 15 ROOM ARE TREATED AT STRATEGIC POINTS WITH SONOX PYRAMID ACOUSTICAL PANELS AND ROOMTUNE DEVICES AS WELL. THE SOUND IS NOT TO BE BELIEVED. A HIGH END AUDIO DEALER FRIEND IN VIRGINIA CAME DOWN TO SET UP MY HORIZON SE AND WAS BLOW AWAY BY THE SOUND. THE JBL SPEAKERS ARE GREAT. WALL TO WALL SOUND STAGE WITH VERY GOOD DEPTH AND PINPOINT IMAGING. THE TRICK IS GETTING THE ROOM AND SPEAKERS IN TUNE WITH EACH OTHER. THE CONDITION OF THE ROOM AS WITH ANY SYSTEM IS CRUCIAL TO GETTING THE BEST SOUND FROM YOUR EQUIPMENT - WHETHER IT BE VINTAGE EQUIPMENT OR NOT. I SEE NO REASON TO HAVE ANY FEAR OF JBL VINTAGE SPEAKERS. LET ME KNOW HOW THINGS WORK OUT. BEST OF LUCK.
If you like classic rock you really should look into the JBL 4300 series. My favor is the 4350, which is a four way with dual 15 woofers, a 12 mid-bass, a mid-range horn, and a crystal tweeter. If it is too big you might want to consider the 4343, which is a little bigger than half the size of a 4350. The 4343 has a single 15 woofer instead of two and a 10 mid-bass instead of 12", and the rest are the same. Both are killer rock speakers. I used to install them in night clubs back in the 70s.
The JBL L200 was produced in the early to mid 70's, not the 60's, although the studio monitor version was produced earlier. The L-200B (supposidly better) was produced after 1975 I think.
I have a pair of L-166 I modded a bit, this was the "super L-100" and I think is better than the L-100.
Some prefer the Jubal, some the L-150.
I also have a pair of L-200's I restored and replaced internal wiring and jacks. The L-200's are VERY efficient, can get very loud. I bought a vintage Technics 4-band fully parametric eq. specifically to eliminate the peaky presence regions, extend the treble and lower bass.
With high end electronics, these speakers can sort of shine, but in my opinion you must use them close to the back wall, sit very far away, and sit exactly on axis "down the throat" of the high freq. horn. Some prefer the sound without the slatted horn "lens".
Gellis1, keep in mind that JBL produces (to this day) a professional line and a "consumer line". Many of the older JBL "L" (Listener series) speakers, used their professional drivers in wood veneered cabinetry for home use. JBLs cabinetry, was THE industry standard in quality for many years.Unfortunately, Harmon International purchased the company, and the overall quality suffered.
To this day the most desirable series of JBL speakers designed for the home was the "Listener" series produced in the later 1970s and very early 1980s. One that instantly comes to mind is the JBL L112. This was a 12" 3 way loudspeaker that was derived from the original 4312 studio monitor series used in 70% of the recording studios at that time. The L112 was an incredibly well balanced speaker that threw a huge soundstage and stayed flat (+/- 1.5db) from 20-20,000 with an incredible amount of detail.
They can generally be found at the $350- $500 price point used, and were built like bank vaults. The woofer used a 12 pound magnet in a cast aluminum frame with a 3" hand wound voice coil. The midrange and high frequency drivers were equally well built. You can try the site below for a complete history on all JBLs including the model I am discussing. You may be quite surprised at how incredibly wonderful much of the older gear sounds. The L112s will boogy with almost any speaker out there today inclusive of any "modern designs". Their sound is captivating to say the least.
Best of Luck, and Happy Listening, Ed.
You cannot go wrong with L300. Ita well balanced system that if manuafactured now would cost 8000.00 a pair. These can be had if you look around. I purchased a pair for 700.00. The going price in good cond is 2000.00
Another good system Is The L150. these have in my opinion the best tweetr Jbl ever made was a soft dome fabric tweeter very sweet sounding also have big bass responce. Needs 300 a side to be best. Ive owned L100, L150, L200. L300 summit, 4350 (!!) the 4430, 4435, 4320, and built 4350. The 4435 is A nice speaker the biradial horn is smoother. theres a websitr JBL collectors nut house called Lansing heritage. Search and find it they have the best group of JBL Nuts in the world
My father had a pair of l220 oracles that could definately rock and sounded rather nice. I'll admit to not having heard any other classic JBLs, but the l220s were a fun pair of speakers. You might enjoy the info here (more direct link to the lansing heritage page regarding their speakers) Lansing Heritage
I own a pair of $4500, highly respected monitors. Last summer I picked up a pair of JBL L200Bs for $600 bucks. I absolutely could not believe my ears-driven with a Jeff Rowland Concentra-it is an open, articulate sound, detailed with a huge sound stage. I purchased my first set of speakers in 1971, and they were JBLs. I have always loved the sound but they could be bright and peaky, what was described as the WEST COAST sound. However with upgraded electronics I find this no longer the case. I fo back and forth between the two speakers, but if I had to make a choice, I probably would go with the JBLs. Actually I would try to pick up a pair of L300 Summits. I also have a pair of Jubals I want to sell and they are a great sounding speaker also.
The JBL L110 was the first audiophile speaker I had ever heard. I was blown away with the sound quality but this speaker($800?)was out of reach for a 15 year old. Probably went to Tech HiFi 3 or 4 times just to listen(lol). A couple years later I purchased an Ohm Walsh 2 partially due to the sales hype, they were good speakers but lacked the JBL magic! Many years later I read that the L110 was one of the most neutral speakers JBL produced at the time.
Check out the latest OHM Walsh speakers on teh OHM Acoustics website. The older Walsh 2s were OK but much flawed in comparison.
I sold both OHM and JBL box designs back in the late 70's. ALways preferred the OHMs. Better value and cleaner sound to my ears back then.
Maybe some older JBLS would benefit from more modern amplification, more power, current, etc.